Coaches, it’s time to get REAL!


Modern coaching and people development has become a maze of different models, methods and theories delivered by multiple experts in their respective fields. In most cases what a coach or a business hiring a coach is looking to achieve is that the individuals being worked with become more productive, fulfilled and reach somewhere near their potential.

Where I feel there is a disconnect from reality is that there is an outcome focus with goals and targets set right from the start, before any actual coaching. Now we need a goal to work towards and tangible measurements in place to validate what we do but the timing of when and how these are agreed needs to be decided once the coachee is engaged rather than prior to understanding the need. This is where I believe we need to start getting real.

It is mind-set and modern culture that dictates results immediately and this causes a focus on the end result first, often ignoring where someone is actually at. Even more important than where someone is at, is the question of who they are right now? With all the systems and processes being implemented to control outcomes and productivity the consideration of soft skills and the “people” in the productivity equation is often being left behind in my opinion.

To get real, we need to engage with individuals where they are at and according to who they really are. Getting real is about digging below the surface and cutting out all the technical jargon and consultancy speak. Getting real is about accepting that every person is different and will therefore have different issues, needs and potential. Getting real is about understanding that the standard solutions are not for everyone, a one size fits all approach is outdated and ineffective. Getting real is about finding out what is really important to an individual and what will make them truly fulfilled and satisfied. Getting real is about seeing every person for who they are and not what you are told they are. Getting real is about you as a coach knowing your own strengths and limitations and being authentic by offering the best of you.

Once you are getting real with someone and being real with yourself you can achieve real lasting change and sustainable results. Knowing who you are really dealing with right from the outset is of the utmost importance and the only way to get going. Once the “who” is established you can agree the needs, aims and goals that can be achieved.

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By Grant Henderson MD i3 profiling Ltd

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